(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)
Many folks would like to work at home, perhaps eliminating their day job. They know that the Internet is huge and that there are opportunities there. There are also the gurus and other scammers waiting to hang them from their hills so they can shake the change out of their pockets. Internet marketing is like any other business. You need patience and you need a plan. The SBA is a good place to draw up a business plan online at no cost.
Can you create your own products and have complete control over them? Then you’ve got it! Keep working toward that goal even if you are an affiliate marketer.
Internet marketers do one of two things, they promote and sell products or they just promote products leaving sales to the vendor. The latter is called affiliate marketing. Let’s cover that first.
An example would be to promote ClickBank products. These are all digital products delivered by a vendor. You join ClickBank at no cost, choose an ID, choose a product to promote, enter your ID to get a link and then you promote the product on your website. Note: You can also be an affiliate at CJ.com and other sites that have non-digital products like cameras, clothing, etc.
Having said that, you don’t ever sale the product. You actually supply relevant information to what visitors to your site are looking for, then you suggest that they might take a look at the information provided by your link. If you know the product (because you use it), then you can do a bit of promotion. If your visitor goes to the vendor site by following your link and buy a product, you get a commission.
Needless to say, when you choose a product, you need to look carefully at the vendor site to decide if you would actually buy the product from his sales pitch. Well, if you are going to promote his product, then you should have him give you a copy of the product so that you can give testimony of how viable it is. You should at least get a major discount.
Another thing you will want to look for is a product manager for affiliates. Staying in contact with an affiliate manager can give you an edge in marketing. For example, one of the product sells better in Europe than the United States. Where should you be marketing? That is the kind of information you can get from an affiliate manager.
This looks like a great way to make money, and for some folks it is. But there is something missing here. What is missing is the customer. The way you make money with the customer is to sell him over and over again. In the case with ClickBank, you lose the customer and the vendor and make all of the back sales that he wants. For that reason, commissions are high or even 100%.
Now you may be gathering email addresses of those who visit your site, but you won’t know if they are a buyer or not.
That is a major fault of affiliate marketing. Yes, you can promote products to your mailing list. Hopefully your (vendor’s) customer will be on it.
The best place to learn affiliate marketing is Wealthy Affiliate University so you don’t get scammed by some guru.
Wealthy Affiliate also has an affiliate program. I’ve been a member since 2008 and I’ve never had to pay one penny because I promote Wealthy Affiliate. (I also promote the JAAXY keyword tool which was developed by wealthy affiliate for more income.)
I know a half a dozen affiliates that make over $30,000 every year just by promoting the Wealthy Affiliate program, but when you count the number of members of wealthy affiliate, that is a small percentage.
You can join wealthy affiliate at no charge. They will give you two free websites so that you can learn to build websites and to promote products before you or any money.
When you become a premium member to gain full access, I suggest you pay annually which makes membership very economical, much less costly than if you attend a class at your local junior college.
Promoting and Selling Your Own Products
I have always preferred selling my own products along with promoting affiliate products. That makes a good combination. The training you get at Wealthy Affiliate prepares you well for either.
If you can create your own products, then you have complete control over them. If they are Digital Products, you can put them on ClickBank and have hundreds of affiliates marketing them for you. You will keep the customers too and be able to make back sales.
If you manufacture a product, then you will have to promote and sell it, ship it, and handle customer relations. But you can constantly add new products to sell your customers.
Some marketers have products made for them and shipped directly to Amazon. Amazon handles all orders, ships the product and handles customer relations. But you have to supply the Amazon sales copy.
I mentioned before that I’ve sold thousands of books on the Internet and many flagpoles. I no longer do this because I’m 83 years old and I’m cutting back. However, the main reason I stopped selling books was that I did not get back sales because the vendor had no method of keeping track that I brought him the first customer. So the customer would buy a book from me and I would order it from the vendor and he would keep the customer.
I still had contact with the customer but the vendor could flood them with more information about specials that I could. There was no trouble with my flagpole vendor. There were seldom any back sales in that market. Besides my customers were very loyal and those who were reselling flagpoles reordered through me.
The best way to find the vendor who will drop ship products to your customers is to contact suppliers direct. There are many drop shipping scams on the Internet, especially those offering directories. Stay away from them. You can read about drop shipping on my sister site: Click Here!
Your Vendor Page
You don’t need a vendor page, sales page, for affiliate marketing. That is the vendor’s job. If you are creating your own products or having products drop shipped, you are the vendor. That is true if you create digital products and put them on ClickBank.
To create a vendor page, you need to know something about copywriting. To hire a copywriter can be very expensive, so you may want to learn the ropes yourself. You can study copywriting and learn the techniques that are used on vendors pages. Remember that many ClickBank vendors are selling very little because they do not have good copy on their sales page. They are expert at creating their products but they are not experts at selling them. Some Internet marketers buy the rights to these products, paying the creator a royalty, and prepare good sales pages. Then the creator starts to earn some money even though he or she has to share it with the sales expert.
There are several ways to get started on the Internet. My granddaughters create wigs and baby hats. They simply went to the Etsy.com and opened the store. We are now building them in a website but I’m sure they will keep their Etsy store. I have an Etsy store too. My wife and I loved yard sales and we collected many things over the years. I gave away three truckloads to Deseret Industries but some things I didn’t want banged around in a secondhand store. So my granddaughter created me a store to sell my old stuff. I haven’t sold very much there because she has had little time to stock it for me, but I do have a pretty good customer down in Australia who likes unicorns.
My son is a veterinarian but he has been on the Internet for a number of years. He sold flutes and whistles. He started with the mailing list, we build him a website, and he went on from there. Recently he sold the site. Now he is in herbs and he has written a book or two and he sales courses that he teaches from his website. He also sells books on herbs written by other authors. He also started this business from a mailing list that he generated by giving lectures throughout the West. He has 15 kids, quite a few in college, so he needs the money.
If you have real products to sell, go to simplify.com or bizhosting.com and they will provide you a storefront with e-commerce (being able to accept checks and credit cards). I believe my son uses simplify down and I once used bizhosting, both good companies.
The key to marketing on the Internet is to give continuous relevant information to your readers. Your site needs to be specific to your market. Click here to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate where you can learn how to build a website for a new market and how to promote it. Your main problem will be to draw traffic to your site so you will need to learn that too at Wealthy Affiliate.
My cousin use to drive race cars in Salt Lake City. He wrote me some years ago that that was the best time of his life. He was called Passionate Percy and his car was bright purple. But there was a problem. He could never get the damn car running at the start of a race. The only time he was on the track was what he was trying to start his car. Then he would miss the next race and the next. That was because he could never get started.
Many people peter out in Internet marketing. You can’t blame them when only one or two out of 10 makes a buck. The main problem is folks don’t realize that it is a business. It is not what they expected. They wanted a get rich quick scheme template so that they would be making money the next afternoon. That it will wait for three or four months or even a year for the cast starts flowing in. But it is a business and you have to build up the following. You can get people to go to your site and stay there long enough to learn something, you won’t sell one damn thing. That is the truth of the matter.
I’ve watched many people over the years work hard to grind out a business on the Internet. The most successful ones have been in business, often converting a storefront business to an Internet. That is a very good way to go because you already have a clientele and you can send them to your website. That is what my son and granddaughters have done that so have many others I know.
If you have a passion for some one think (not your wife or children), perhaps a hobby, your vocation, a special interest like bike racing or growing orchids, then you can search for a profitable niche market where you can join that market, if you’re not already in it, and start a profitable business.
That is the key to Internet marketing. You will only update your site and continue to provide good information if you are passionate about it. After all, you don’t plant ten acres of grass just because you love to cut the lawn.
You need to be original and different and one that others can trust and accept advice from.
Yes, you need to become an expert.
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